by FAITH BENNETT
Skinny Records indie-rock band Rice may have been around for a few years, but not without going through substantial changes. Lead vocalist and lyricist Mike Martin was able to speak to EU about the alterations and the new single claiming, “We now have the idea of what this band is gonna be.”
Rice’s current lineup consists of founding members Martin, Ryan Turk, Paige McMullen, and Chris Pringle, as well as newer additions Leo Kulishevskiy, Jeremy Nix, and, most recently, drummer David Blumberg. “It’s been a process, but we finally have a solid thing,” Martin says. He explains the noticeable jump in quality from previous work by simply saying that the band is learning. He elaborates, “We’ve progressed a lot with recording in general. We’ve reached a higher quality and we’re writing better songs.”
The newest of those songs that’s available for listen and download on Rice’s Bandcamp page (www.rice.bandcamp.com) is titled ‘The Cure.’ The song is poppier than much of the band’s previous work and more tightly knit. Martin says that though it is closer to pop and cheerier than most of the next album, it still is a great way of showcasing the band’s “new style and drummer, and will help people get ready for the new album.”
The next Rice album, which is being funded via the ever-popular fundraising website Kickstarter, is a seven-track vinyl release to be called Keep Warm. Keep Warm will be out in August or September and promises a new start for Rice. The band has never failed when it comes to presenting an enthusiastic and energetic performance, and the Kickstarter video that previews the album is nothing if not exemplary of that energy. “We’re still very young,” Martin notes, but then says that practices have gotten more productive and more efficient in the last few months.
Audiences can expect darker tracks to play alongside ‘The Cure.’ While Keep Warm is a departure from older work in other ways, Rice fans can still expect the soaring violin and beach vibes they have come to know and love. “It’s a diverse album,” says Martin. The improvement in technical proficiency does make the music more fitting for a stereo, but at the same time it is no less fitting for a house show or set in a small bar.
Collectively, Rice has more going for it now than it ever did before. Conveniently enough, the group is also producing more for fans to indulge in. Now you can support Rice through its Kickstarter or by downloading ‘The Cure’ and soon enough one can even own Rice’s music on vinyl. It may be producing an album of darker songs, but Rice is also producing a lot of positive vibes.
by FAITH BENNETT